Hovering Over Titan
November 25, 2004
A mosaic of nine processed images recently acquired during Cassini's first very close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26, 2004, constitutes the most detailed full-disc view of the mysterious moon. The view is centered on 15 degrees south latitude, and 156 degrees west longitude. Brightness variations across the surface and bright clouds near the south pole are easily seen. Surface features are best seen near the center of the disc, where the spacecraft is looking directly downwards; the contrast becomes progressively lower and surface features become fuzzier toward the outside, where the spacecraft is peering through haze, which washes out surface features. The images hint at a young surface with no obvious craters. However, the exact nature of that activity, whether tectonic, wind-blown, fluvial, marine or volcanic is still to be determined.
Topics: Environment, Titan, Moons of Saturn, Saturn, Cassini–Huygens timeline, Cassini–Huygens, Io, Spacecraft, Moon